Two musicals were chosen from the submissions received by the Waterford, CT, company. The selected creators spend the month of July developing their respective works with actors, directors and dramaturgs, before they are presented in readings.
The O'Neill 2007 National Music Theatre Conference selections follow:
notes to MariAnne (July 14, 15, 19 and 20)
Book, music and lyrics by David Rossmer and Dan Lipton
Benjamin Endsley Klein directs a cast that features Jenny Fellner, Suzan Postel, Monique French, Jason Wooten, Dennis Parlato, Andrew Samonsky, Ken Triwush, Eric Bondoc and Alicia Irving. Music director is Fred Lassen.
"A brother and sister are torn apart and then reunited under extraordinary circumstances. notes to MariAnne is a modern fairy tale that draws from popular music to sing its story, exploring the consequences of leaving those you love and finding hope in dark places." Lipton and Rossmer co-created the Don't Quit Your Night Job variety show, which recently played in New York City at the HA! Comedy Club. Lipton also played piano for Broadway's The Coast of Utopia. Rossmer has performed on Broadway in Fiddler on the Roof and in the musical Zhivago at La Jolla Playhouse.
Red Eye of Love (July 21, 22, 25 and 27)
Book and lyrics by Arnold Weinstein and John Wulp; music by Jan Warner
Ted Sperling directs a cast that features Cheyenne Jackson, Elizabeth Stanley, Joe Grifasi, Cole Burden, Kimberly Chesser, Harris Doran, Anne Kittredge, Jason Ma, Monique Midgette and Paul Stovall. Music director is Rob Berman.
Based on a play by Arnold Weinstein, this "zany musical comedy about America [is] set against a background of war, depression and economic boom times [and] follows the wacky adventures of Wilmer Flange, a young idealist; O.O. Martinas, owner of the world's largest meat department store; and Selma Chargesse, the woman they both love. In doing so, it takes a hard look at the effects of love and money upon our lives." Wulp won a Tony Award as producer of the 1977 revival of the play Dracula and was nominated for his scenic design of The Crucifer of Blood. He was founder and a former director of the Playwrights' Horizons Theater School. Sperling was a Tony winner for his orchestrations of The Light in the Piazza.
The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center was founded in 1964 and is based in Waterford, CT. Programs at the Center include the Puppetry Conference, Playwrights Conference, Critics Institute, Music Theater Conference and the National Theater Institute. The Monte Cristo Cottage, O'Neill's childhood home, is also owned and operated by the group.
For tickets and more information, call (860) 443-1238 or visit the website at www.theoneill.org.